Reading the Old Testament is like browsing a full-colour version of facebook, twitter, and ‘Christian’ news headlines all put together. The modern ‘Christian’ phenomena of praising God’s Word, and quoting favourite lines from God’s Word, or even attributing favourites quotes to God that aren’t even in His Word, is something that riddled the world in which Jeremiah the real Prophet was ministering in.
In Jeremiah 42, the people eagerly came to him to hear the Word of God. They pleaded to be told God’s Word so they would know what to do with their lives (Jer 42:2-3). Like a good preacher today, Jeremiah promised to bring God’s Word to them, but, like a good preacher today, he promised to give them all or nothing—no skipping verses, no favourite lines only, no misquotes or alternate readings (Jer 42:4). The people responded with great enthusiasm and spiritual resolve (Jer 42:5-6). In our times this would have resulted in YouTube channels, printed t-shirts, ticket sales at stadiums, and selfies shared across every imaginable social platform.
Then the Word of God came to Jeremiah regarding their situation, and Jeremiah, as promised, relates it all to the people word-for-word.
Having heard what they didn’t expect, and what they did not really appreciate, a number of the influential individuals accused Jeremiah of lying to them (Jer 43:2) and coerced the rest of the people to do what they had planned to do all along (Jer 43:5ff cf Jer 41:17).
Do you take God at His Word, or not? How do you read God’s Word?